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sam9 14th August 2004 11:53 PM

Claim your $1M from the Great Randi
 
There is a post on AA that says The Great Randi has offered $1,000,000 to certain reviewers of Shakti Stones who can demonstrate an audible effect of the stones. This is posted as an FYI to anyone who may be interested. Randi's website is www.randi.org - do a site search for Shakti.

For those who have never heard of The Great Randi (I first read about him from Issac Asimov), do not dismiss the man lightly. He has fools of many in the course of a long career and has yet to pay out a cent. I've only seen him on TV but find him very entertaining and nobody's fool.

Variac 15th August 2004 06:27 AM

I'm afraid my ears aren't "golden" enough to win ;)

SY 15th August 2004 01:41 PM

Randi will pay the $1MM to anyone, not just reviewers, who can demonstrate any sort of paranormal ability under conditions which do not allow cheating. I'd recommend his book "Flim-Flam" to anyone interested in how charlatans fool us and help us fool ourselves.

www.randi.org

john curl 16th August 2004 04:41 PM

This is a sad case of: "Throwing the baby out with the bathwater" Randi is a professional naysayer. Yes, he makes a living from debunking. He often goes overboard in his criticism. It gets tedious, after awhile.

jam 16th August 2004 05:00 PM

Mr. Curl,

You mean like .............Steve Eddy? :D

sam9 16th August 2004 05:21 PM

Quote:

He often goes overboard in his criticism.
If "overboard" mean inaccurate, false or not true. it should be easy enough to shut him up -- just sign up and collect the $1Million.:)

jan.didden 16th August 2004 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by john curl
This is a sad case of: "Throwing the baby out with the bathwater" Randi is a professional naysayer. Yes, he makes a living from debunking. He often goes overboard in his criticism. It gets tedious, after awhile.

John,

That may be the case, but does he normally get it right? I don't think you can get too tedious debunking frauds that take advantage of other people's misplaced trust.

Jan Didden

ThorstenL 16th August 2004 05:41 PM

Re: Claim your $1M from the Great Randi
 
Konnichiwa,

Quote:

Originally posted by sam9
There is a post on AA that says The Great Randi has offered $1,000,000 to certain reviewers of Shakti Stones who can demonstrate an audible effect of the stones. This is posted as an FYI to anyone who may be interested. Randi's website is www.randi.org - do a site search for Shakti.
Hmmm. From his stated rules for the 1M challenge it would appear that he could (and would) refuse to pay up on ANY sucessfull Audio Demonstration simply because we are NOT dealing with (from his challenge rules): "psychic, supernatural or paranormal ability".

It can be easily demonstrated that placing a shakti brick on most speakers enclosures will change the resonance signature of the cabient and quite possibly to an audible degree. The same will be harder, but still not impossible to illustrate with source electronics.

Equally, when changing mains cables in audio systems it is quite triviual to demonstrate changes in EMI suceptibility and the like.

The only thing really debatable and debated is if such usually quite small variations are audible or not.

So, where does that leave us? With another professional charlatan and pseudoscientist who deliberatly postulates rules and excemptions that allow him off the hook, incidently just in line with the other side (those who claim effects) who also always seem to have exist clauses.

Clearly either side (be it in audio or in other areas) is represented BOTH primarily by professional deceivers with a clear agenda and no attempt is made to actually research anything.

For arguments sake, some of David Blaines more extreme stunts (or those by some other performers) clearly seem to exceed accepted limits for human endurance. Does that mean their source is "supernatural"? Depends upon your definition of natural. We have too many movable goal posts and too much intent to deceive (deceive - as in to make observable facts or their absence to appear to provide proof of a given position) on either side as to get anywhere.

At least there is little mention of the dreaded "ABX" test, which when performed in the usal fashion has a statistically assured ability to reliably return null results regardless of the actual facts, unless performed with sample sizes considerably (like by a factor 20 - 100) exceeding those commonly used in the audio related published test. Hell, who ever heard of a serious clinical trial with one, two or three paricipants (never mind controls and test of the actual experiment for sensitivity to start with).

Sayonara

sam9 16th August 2004 05:58 PM

Quote:

Hmmm. From his stated rules for the 1M challenge it would appear that he could (and would) refuse to pay up on ANY sucessfull Audio Demonstration simply because we are NOT dealing with (from his challenge rules): "psychic, supernatural or paranormal ability".
If you search his site a little further you will find the actual letter he sent the reviewers and manufacturers. He does not leave himself that out for the Shakti stones. He states the requirements quite clearly. It doesn't matter whether the claimed functionality of the stones derives from the paranormal or quantum physics.

So far as I know Randi doesn't play word games. It does not depend on "what the meaning of 'is' is".

sam9 16th August 2004 06:10 PM

Quote:

At least there is little mention of the dreaded "ABX" test, which when performed in the usal fashion has a statistically assured ability to reliably return null results regardless of the actual facts, unless performed with sample sizes considerably (like by a factor 20 - 100) exceeding those commonly used in the audio related published test. Hell, who ever heard of a serious clinical trial with one, two or three paricipants (never mind controls and test of the actual experiment for sensitivity to start with).
Surely, with a potential pay-off of $1Million, TAS or the makers of Shakti's could round up 20+ test subjects. I'm quite sure Randi would not object.

BTW, calling Randi a "charlatan" is, in my mind, a bit like calling Elliot Ness a bootlegger.


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